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House Democrats to meet on same-sex marriage bill

By Oscar Garcia

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 02:14 p.m. HST, Sep 05, 2013

House Democrats plan to meet with Gov. Neil Abercrombie and the state attorney general on Friday to discuss a draft of gay marriage legislation as Abercrombie considers whether to call a special session on the issue.

A House spokeswoman said today the meeting is scheduled to be held at the state Capitol.

The meeting comes more than a week after Abercrombie publicly released an 18-page draft of legislation that would allow marriage licenses to be issued starting Oct. 3 and ceremonies to begin Nov. 1.

Also today, several dozen Hawaii businesses endorsed the legislation, including Waikiki hotel operator Aqua Resorts and several wedding-related businesses. The businesses aligned themselves with Hawaii United For Marriage, a group pushing the special session.

Sean Hower, president of Hitched on Maui, an app with wedding resources, said approving gay marriage would make business sense given all the ceremonies that happen in the state.

According to the Hawaii Tourism Authority, more than 71,000 visitors came to the state to get married over the first seven months of the year.

"Imagine the multiplier effect of adding gay couples to that list," Hower said in a statement.

Abercrombie has not firmly said whether a special session will be called. The regular legislative session begins in January.

Proponents of gay marriage have said a special session would allow a law to pass without delay, and with minimal influence from groups outside the state. Opponents, including several religious groups, have said a special session would cost extra money and prevent proper debate.

If a bill is passed, Hawaii would join 13 U.S. states and the District of Columbia in legalizing gay marriage. Hawaii, like a handful of states, already offers same-sex civil unions.

An economic analysis released last month from the University of Hawaii said legalizing gay marriage would add $217 million to the state's tourism economy over the next three years, with $166 million spent on marriage ceremonies and honeymoons.

The analysis said about 2,000 same-sex couples living in Hawaii would likely be married by 2016.

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Did anybody read the commentary about "Church and State" The gentleman has the audacity to discuss how the church should stay out of the state's exemption policy. Can you even imagine people fighting for rights at the same time totally disregarding the rights of the church to decide if they want to perform a marriage ceremony or not. It is bad enough that the gays and lesbians are getting their rights (and I agree with the rights), but next they ask to be "married" (which I dont like the idea of other than between man and woman), but he NOW wants to ensure the churches have NO rights!.. Talk about having your cake and eating it too. What's next???? Amazing the gaul these people have!
on September 5,2013 | 02:31PM
Kahu Matu wrote:
They don't see the hypocrisy of the Democratic party. Fight for the rights of those who will give you money.
on September 5,2013 | 03:30PM
surless wrote:
Yeah, Kahu. As if the Repugnantcans NEVER do that. Do they ?
on September 5,2013 | 07:35PM
surless wrote:
GONEGOLFIN: You're way off base. Maybe you have been golfing too much, Maybe you have been out in the sun too long. NO church and NO pastor will be required to marry anybody who they don't want to marry. Either gay or straight. It is not gall to ask for equal rights, especially when it comes to taxes, spousal rights of survival and other spousal benefits. It's called fairness, GONEGOLFIN. And it's spelled gall. Not gaul.
on September 5,2013 | 07:35PM
Rickyboy wrote:
Back door politics.
on September 5,2013 | 02:36PM
Mana07 wrote:
good one
on September 5,2013 | 02:56PM
allie wrote:
House is under pressure from the 5% OF THE POPULATION AND BIG Hollywood MONEY
on September 5,2013 | 02:43PM
geralddeheer wrote:
Hollywood Money? Which 'Hollywood group/person? How much money? Who paid? Who received?
on September 5,2013 | 03:10PM
Haole wrote:
on September 5,2013 | 03:48PM
surless wrote:
Under pressure to be fair to all couples? Is that what you mean ? Oh my God. What a terrible thing to ask for. Yes, I AM being sarcastic, allie.
on September 5,2013 | 07:38PM
Kahu Matu wrote:
Money can control politicians to do stupid things. Get the money out of the discussion and there would be no discussion on this bill. The GLBT and all of their mainland benefactors are pushing this up the back door of our state, in a literal back door sort of way.
on September 5,2013 | 03:32PM
Kahu Matu wrote:
Money will always get our politicians to take it in the back door. Now they just want to make it legal. If mainland money wasn't driving this, we'd never be considering to compromise our morals in such a devastating way.
on September 5,2013 | 03:36PM
DowntownGreen wrote:
The proposed legislation doesn't force anyone or any religious entity to perform ANY marriage. They can only be held legally liable if they don't rent out NON-religious facilities that they regularly rent to the general public. That is discrimination and it is already illegal. It has NOTHING to do with forcing ANYONE to perform a marriage... whether it be an opposite or same sex marriage. Nothing. It is strictly about public accommodations. Read the actual proposed legislation. It is VERY clear on that matter. You can read it here: http://governor.hawaii.gov/blog/governor-shares-draft-marriage-bill/

It would be helpful to the discussion if people would stop using that talking point and misrepresenting the facts.

on September 5,2013 | 04:35PM
Cricket_Amos wrote:
This only works if we accept your definition of what a "NON-religious facility" is. This is the same game over and over and over. Argue by redefining a word and then using the new definition as the basis of your argument.
on September 5,2013 | 05:17PM
DowntownGreen wrote:
Nice try at deflection. It is well-defined in the proposed legislation and it is no different than it has been in relation to public accommodation law. I would suggest people actually read the legislation instead of believing me or you.
on September 5,2013 | 05:21PM
Mypualani wrote:
@ DowntownGreen you have to realize that reading and comprehension skills for some just does not pan out. You have some reading " see spot run" and they take it to mean "spot has diarrhea" so yeah.
on September 6,2013 | 02:50AM
blackmurano wrote:
Very simply said, the far left liberal Democratic party that controls this State, "hook line and sinker" reneged on the vote conducted in 1998 during the general election. A Whopping 69 percent of Hawaii citizens voted to amend the State constitution and give the State legislature to banned same-sex marriage in Hawaii. This vote had to be taken because the far left liberal Democratic State Supreme court was on the verge of granting homosexual marriage in Hawaii. Now these Democrat politicians got the power to banned homosexual marriage, instead they are on the verge of approving it totally disregarding that amendment to our State constitution. Never trust a Democrat.
on September 5,2013 | 04:50PM
DowntownGreen wrote:
I tend to never trust someone with a "challenged" interpretation of history and fact. Republican OR Democrat.
on September 5,2013 | 05:23PM
kiragirl wrote:
So it is all about money? Sickening!
on September 5,2013 | 06:23PM
Skyler wrote:
It is now "all about the money" because that is what's being suggested to push instead of rights, etc. If you make it "all about the money" instead of the definition of marriage, people tend to let it slide. It's a marketing ploy, basically. I'm not sold. Still think the Feds should accept civil unions of any couple as eligible for Fed benefits. Once they do that, the whole 'it's for money' or 'it's for equality' nonsense will be moot.
on September 5,2013 | 10:05PM
Brixac3 wrote:
As many of you know, economists have a very poor track record. A decision to attract 3.5% (to 10%) of the population could also alienate an even larger % of potential visitors. Families and the elder (with old fashion values) are likely to be put at risk. Voting data on this issue indicates that a large majority of Americans are opposed to SSM, which means that visitors from these states have made it known that they have strong feelings in opposition to SSM and may choose not to visit Hawaii because of SSM. California is a state that has legalized SSM only because the court over turned the popular vote, which was in favor of DOMA. We need to consider the other 90% to 96.5% of the equation.
on September 5,2013 | 09:59PM
seaborn wrote:
For all of you dead set against allowing gay/lesbian couples to marry, please explain, in your day-to-day lives, how the marriage of same sex couples will effect you. Just curious.
on September 5,2013 | 10:04PM
Mypualani wrote:
It won't affect them, that's the problem.
on September 6,2013 | 02:46AM
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